Yesterday I went to speak to the Grade 6 class at Alex's school. They want to raise money for Alex's service dog. I was a little nervous about going in. Would they expect me to have plans already laid out? Or was this something where the teachers were more enthusiastic than the students?
I was pleasantly surprised and blown away by how eager these kids were to do something. Maybe it's because I'm worn out and cynical that I forget how easy it was to believe that it was possible to make a difference. They came up with all sorts of ideas, from concerts to bake and craft sales to asking for a special Spirit day at school. I put in my own suggestion of trying to create an "Autistic for an hour" pledge drive, where students have to complete a task but are being given the instructions in a foreign language and the rules are constantly shifting.
They came up with a great idea of their own. Doing extra chores at home and donating the money to National Service Dogs for Alex.
The kids knew Alex and his classmates and naively see no real differences between them and themselves. In a way, that's true. But I'm far too aware of the gap. I hope they end up being more right than I do.